Talk: East African rulers, generals and elites in India - Kenneth X. Robbins

Date:03.06.2014
Time:05:30 pm
Events

When and Where

Date:02 June 2014
Time:06:30 pm
Organizer: ICCR
Location: London

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Kenneth X. Robbins, a psychiatrist, is a collector and independent scholar with an interest in Maharajas, Nawabs, Sultans, and other Indian rulers as well as minority groups in South Asia. He has curated numerous exhibitions, organized scholarly conferences, and published many articles on Indian history, paintings, photographs, art, religion, medicine, numismatics, and philately. He is editing a study of the hundreds of princely states in what is now Gujarat. His book African Elites in India is the basis for a New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Black Culture traveling exhibition, which is currently at the Museum for African American History in Boston. It will open at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi in October. He hopes to find other venues in Africa and elsewhere. He has been working on an exhibition and eight volumes dealing with Jews in India. The first volume Western Jews in India has been published and the next book Jews and the Indian National Art Project will be launched this fall.

Kenneth Robbins has gathered together everything from many old miniature paintings and photographs to numismatic and philatelic materials to document the unparalleled story of Africans, who attained the pinnacle of political and military authority on another continent. East Africans have distinguished themselves in India as rulers, military commanders, prime ministers, queens, courtiers, and architectural patrons in India. The Habshi Sultans of Bengal and the Nawabs of Janjira and Sachin were all Africans. Malik Ambar, the great strongman of Ahmednagar, and the many African prime ministers of Bijapur left their mark. The Sidi Sayyid Mosque has become the symbol of Ahmedabad. African patronage produced splendid forts, mosques, and tombs.

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